Special training for Cape Town officers after 'alarming' attacks

2016-02-15 13:46
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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WATCH: Suspect in N2 point-blank shooting in custody

2016-02-05 12:52

Last November Cape Town traffic officer Nizaam Alexander returned fire after being shot at point blank range during a routine patrol on the N2. Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith reveals that a suspect was arrested on Wednesday. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town – City of Cape Town law enforcement officers, who have increasingly come under attack, are to undergo specialised training to more effectively deal with stressful and highly dangerous situations.

It was hoped that placing officers in ultra-realistic virtual reality and simulation training would equip them with the skills to react appropriately.

At least 70 of the city’s officers came under attack in the last year, which was alarming, safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said on Monday.

Traffic officers made up a disproportionately large amount of these attacks, especially when stopping and approaching vehicles.

Various officers had reported being shot at, pelted with stones, and even being bitten.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration would train a number of the city’s metro police, traffic and law enforcement officers in the next two weeks.

The stress exposure training had been developed for policing agencies in that country as well as for military units in various countries.

Smith said it was unfair to ask officers to make complex decisions with very little practice. The criminals they dealt with were not forced to play by the rules.

Training would include placing officers in a room with a laser-equipped pistol and interactive video scenarios.

"The officer will have to determine quickly whether or not lethal force is legally justified or not. At the end of the encounter, the participant is required to articulate their actions in accordance with agency policies and laws."

The second training system, known as Simunition, would put officers through realistic training with modified, non-lethal ammunition.

"Simunition provides a 'pain penalty' when hit, forcing the participants to use good tactics, make proper use of available cover, and maintain a positive mind-set whether they are with other officers or alone," said Smith.

US Consul General Teddy Taylor said the training was another product of the long-standing and rewarding partnership with the city.

Read more on:    jp smith  |  cape town

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